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ERCOT says grid reliability 'remains strong' despite record-breaking demand, forced outages

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Lubbock Power & Light improves transmission lines ahead of a move to the ERCOT grid. (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KJTV) - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas claims Texans’ conservation efforts and “changes in procedures and processes” prevented rotating outages Monday, in a time of record-breaking power demand.

ERCOT called for conservation on Monday, when a new June record for electricity demand was set. Preliminary data indicates a new record of 69,943 MW of power, which exceeds the 2018 June record by approximately 820 MW, according to information released by ERCOT on Tuesday.

“Rotating” outages, also known as “rolling blackouts,” are power shutdowns engineered intentionally to prevent a full blackout of the system. “Forced” outages are when an unexpected breakdown forces part or all of a power system to shut down.

One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day. Unexpected mechanical failures on Monday forced 12,178 MW offline for repairs.

 

MORE: ERCOT leadership on forced outages: “It’s very concerning”

ERCOT says approximately 1,200 MW of power was regained overnight Monday when some repairs were completed.

“The grid is operating exactly as it was designed and intended,” ERCOT stated. “The issuance of conservation notices is a common practice and prevents ERCOT from entering emergency conditions. Conservation efforts combined with the changes in procedures and processes implemented by ERCOT and the PUC (Public Utility Commission) following the winter storm prevented the possibility of rotating outages yesterday and ensured that no Texans lost power.”

According to the release, ERCOT is continuing repairs of unexpected equipment failures.

ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission are continuing to ask citizens to practice conservation to reduce electric use through Friday between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“We know it can be tough to change family routines, but yesterday is proof that simple conservation measures really do make a difference,” said ERCOT Interim President and CEO Brad Jones. “Conservation notices are commonly-used tools used by utilities and system operators across the country to ensure the reliability of the electric grid. If possible, Texans should apply that same effort during peak hours from 3 to 7 p.m. this week until conditions return to normal.”

Citizens are asked to observe the following conservation actions to help reduce electric use:

· Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent.

· Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers.

· If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.

Further tips can be found at powertosavetexas.org.

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